Popular legal blog Above the Law comments this afternoon on the controversy sparked by a satirical student blog at Syracuse University College of Law, a contretemps Peter discussed here on The Torch earlier today.
Above the Law‘s analysis of the situation is a must read, and I can’t help but share some of author Elie Mystal’s observations here. For example, Mystal’s initial reaction is one that I’m willing to bet will resonate with most FIRE supporters: "I’m telling you guys, this country is going to hell, one ridiculous overreaction at a time." And check out Mystal’s reaction to Professor Gregory Germain, the faculty member leading the investigation into the blog:
[A]pparently Syracuse law professor Gregory Germain has enough free time to be concerned and offended about this kind of stuff. He’s heading the SU investigation into the matter. The ABA Journal reports:
Germain told the ABA Journal in an e-mail that he’s no fan of the blog. "Yes, I think the blog was designed to be offensive, and is in very bad taste," Germain said. "I also think that students who make anonymous blog posts to ridicule and embarrass other students deserve the enmity of the community. In my opinion, immature cowardly bullying should be strongly condemned, especially in a professional school where we have a responsibility to train students to be lawyers who must demonstrate a high standard of honesty, integrity, fairness, confidentiality and judgment.
"With that said, however, I have no intention of charging a violation of our code for exercising bad judgment or showing bad taste. I can only make a charge if I believe that the line between bad judgment and taste on the one hand, and harassment on the other hand, has been crossed."
Wait, you think your own personal views on taste and humor shouldn’t be the basis on which kids are expelled from law school? How scholarly and legal of you, professor!
Ha! No kidding.
I could continue quoting essentially the whole post, but you’d be better off just reading it for yourself. Go check it out. Thanks to Above the Law for injecting some much-needed sanity into the discussion of satire. You’d think a law school would know better.